[Updated with PLP response.] The One Bermuda Alliance today released a brochure [PDF] detailing some of the initiatives they plan to institute.
Opposition Leader Craig Cannonier said: “The brochure does not represent our full platform – that will come when the election is called – but it does lay down our approach to getting Bermuda back on track, working better for our people.”
“They are based on thousands of conversations and discussions with Bermudians, and our own experiences: We all feel the pain. We all feel the pressures to make ends meet. We all feel the anxiety of a country heading in the wrong direction.
“The point is that we are all in this together, and the sooner we get moving forward together the sooner we will pull out this tailspin that is causing so much hurt and pressure across the Island.”
Some of the ideas in the brochure include:
- Instituting a register of sex offenders the public can access
- Supporting communities harmed by crime by implementing a ‘Cash Back for Communities’ programme using monies confiscated from criminals
- Expand the options for Bermudian students by transitioning Bermuda College into a four-year institution
- Stimulate Bermudian jobs growth by giving employers a two-year payroll tax exemption for all new Bermudian hires.
- Establish an independent Contractor General to oversee Government construction projects to ensure fairness, enforce rules and eliminate wasteful cost overruns.
- Protect Bermudian jobs by cracking down on employers who abuse immigration rules.
- Grow jobs, business and career opportunities by extending the North Hamilton EEZ and developing the Marsh Folly area.
- Support small businesses by directing 20% of all government goods and services spending – about $80 million a year – to them.
- Revive Bermuda tourism by creating a Tourism Authority that puts professionals, not politicians, in charge of the industry.
- Create Bermudian construction and tourism jobs through the redevelopment of the Hamilton and St. George’s waterfronts.
- Use growing government revenues to reduce debt and restore and strengthen social programmes.
- End wasteful government spending through the creation of a Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission
- Initiate an island-wide road improvement programme
- Implement a fully integrated technical curriculum, starting in the middle schools.
- Expand preschool places to make early education more accessible to all, especially single parents.
- Extend the school day to allow more time for the arts, music, sports and additional academic assistance for the students who need it.
- Empower our teachers by giving them the support and resources they need.
The full brochure can be seen here [PDF].
Update 7.11pm: The PLP have issued a response saying, “The Progressive Labour Party notes that in the interestingly timed OBA Partial platform release today there are no new initiatives and no new ideas – just recycled UBP talking points.
“We would invite the public to review this document and ‘do the math’ -they’ll find that the OBA plan just doesn’t add up.
“They will find out that it is very difficult to on one hand increase government spending, and on the other hand give huge and irresponsible tax cuts. The OBA plan just doesn’t add up.
“The OBA is playing catch up. The OBA rushed out this document in response to the Premier’s 10 point plan, which is a realistic how to guide to see Bermuda through the worst global financial crisis since the Great Depression.
“We are confident that the Bermudian electorate appreciate the fact that we’ve stood strong for them during these difficult economic times. Programmes such as FutureCare, DayCare, and the Economic Empowerment Zones, instituted by their PLP government have made a difference to thousands of Bermudians.
“We are confident that the residents of Loughlands, Perimeter Lane, and HarbourView Village housing developments appreciate what a PLP government has done for them by providing them quality affordable housing.
“And, we are confident that parents and students in our public school system appreciate the hard work being done to ensure that our students receive a first class education.
“The OBA document today contains little more than recycled UBP ideas, policies and initiatives already underway. It just doesn’t add up. You can’t cut taxes and increase spending while magically balancing the budget. They seem to be placing pandering to the voting public ahead of realism and practicality. Their vague plans just don’t add up.
“We place little stock in proposals from a Party that says “it has to be all about austerity” and won’t tell us what they plan to cut.
“We look forward to presenting even more of our vision for the future up against the OBA. We’re confident that when voters compare the OBA’s fairy tale plans with a realistic vision for our future, that they will make the right choice.”
Articles that link to this one:
- PLP: ‘OBA’s Fairy Tale Plan Doesn’t Add Up’ | Bernews.com | October 25, 2012
- OBA: ‘PLP Trying To Deflect From Their Record’ | Bernews.com | October 26, 2012
- PLP: ‘OBA Has Yet To Say What They Will Cut’ | Bernews.com | November 23, 2012
- BIU: “Proposal Shows The OBA’s True Colours” | Bernews.com | November 30, 2012